9 Interesting Places in Shanghai You Should Not Miss

Shanghai, an economic, financial and cultural center in East China, has many interesting places to tour around for travelers from all over the world. Besides the most popular scenic areas like the Bund and Disneyland Park, there are also other lesser-known fun places to go, which can help you explore the unique beauty of Shanghai. Here under is a list of the most interesting places in Shanghai:

The Bund
The Bund, also known as Waitan in Chinese located on the west bank of Huangpu River, is one of the most symbolic attractions in Shanghai. Extending 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) from Waibaidu Bridge to East Jinling Road, there are dozens of western buildings with different architectural styles lined up along the waterfront avenue. While opposite the Bund across the Huangpu River, you can appreciate skyscrapers in Lujiazui, including Oriental Pearl Tower, World Financial Center, Jinmao Tower and Shanghai Tower. With two totally different kinds of cityscape, the Bund is the best epitome of the past and modern Shanghai, and one of the most interesting places in Shanghai. At night when the neon lights on both sides of the Huangpu River are turn on, it is even more beautiful. In addition, taking a Huangpu River Cruise is a nice way to appreciate the charming scenery on both sides. 

Recommended Tour:  3-Day Private Shanghai Tour from $439
Shanghai Disneyland Park
Shanghai Disneyland Park is no doubt one of the top fun places in Shanghai and wins high popularity worldwide. In addition to the regular entertainment the same with the overseas Disneyland Parks, this one in Shanghai adopts more Chinese cultural elements, such as the parade float of the Chinese Princess ‘Hua Mulan’ and the Chinese zodiac wall named ‘12 Friends Garden’. The authentic Disney characters meet the traditional Chinese style, making Shanghai Disneyland Park more unique. The park has a total of 7 theme areas with dozens of amusement projects and brilliant performances. The Rex’s Racer, Slinky Dog Spin and Pirate Ship are the most popular ones.

 Recommended Tour:  Shanghai Disneyland Tour from $45

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Tianzifang, Shanghai
Tianzifang is definitely on the list of ‘Interesting Places to Visit in Shanghai’. It used to be a shabby and undeveloped block and was later upgraded into an artsy community based on the original characteristic Shikumen Residences. People loving art will always come here when they first arrive in Shanghai to experience the artistic atmosphere of Tianzifang. Walking along the lanes, one can see many Shikumen residences combining traditional southern China style and western style dated back to 1920s and 1930s. Many of them are now used as characteristic shops, art workshops, tea houses, restaurants, cafes, galleries, handicrafts shops and creative studios. 
This interesting place in Shanghai is a creative park transformed from a slaughterhouse.  Nowadays, it often hosts drama performances and fashion shows, becoming an art gathering place. The whole building combines Eastern and Western features with criss-crossed lounge bridges. This unique design creates a maze-like effect. 1933 Old Millfun is also a paradise for photographers. Inside, there are also many restaurants offering delicious food, boutique stores, and game houses, etc.

Yuyuan Bazaar (Yuyuan Market)

Yuyuan Bazaar (Yuyuan Market)
Located right outside Yu Garden, Yuyuan Bazaar is one of the fun places to go in Shanghai for specialties and delicacies, where you can go shopping for local featured souvenirs for family and friends and taste various foods. Here, Yangchun Noodles, Fried Stuffed Bun, Nan Xiang Steamed Stuffed Bun (Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao), Crab-Yellow Pastry and Chop Rice Cakes are must-eat local snacks. The buildings here are all in traditional Chinese style to well cope with the Yu Garden. 

 Recommended Tour:  Shanghai 1 Day Tour to Yuyuan Bazaar from $121
Former Residence of Dr. Sun Yat-sen
Once the earliest, largest and most prosperous concession in China, this area located in Huangpu District and Xuhui District distinguish itself from other parts of Shanghai with various villas and buildings mostly built more than 100 years ago in various western styles: gothic, renaissance, classical... Some of them also have Chinese architecture elements. It is no exaggeration to say that Shanghai Former French Concession is an architecture expo of early 20th century, hence one of the interesting places in Shanghai to have a stroll or takes photos. Some of these villas and buildings have been preserved as they used to be and opened for tourists to learn the life story of the then politicians and cultural celebrities, like the Former Residence of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the pioneer of Chinese modern revolution, and Former Residence of Zhou Enlai, the first premier of PRC; while some of them have been changed into restaurants, cafes, clothes stores, antique shops, and bars, etc full of artistic atmosphere. 

Hengshan Road - The Bar Street

Hengshan Road Bar Street in Shanghai
Gathering many bars, Hengshan Road is one of fun places in Shanghai attracting tourists all over the world. Because of its close distance to the foreign consulate area, the bars here have different styles, including the French-style bar ‘Cotton’s’, the Spanish-style bar ‘Brownstone Tapas & Bar’, the Japanese-style bar ‘Avenue Joffre Bar’, the Chinese & Western-style bar ‘La Villa Rouge’ and fashion bar ‘Light Club’. Almost everyone with different tastes and social classes can find their favorite bars on Hengshan Road and get some relaxation. 
Shanghai Wild Animal Park
Shanghai Wild Animal Park is one of the interesting places in Shanghai for both adults and kids. Situated 35 kilometers (22 miles) away from city center, Shanghai Wild Animal Park is divided into Caging Area and Safari Area, which contains more than 200 kinds of rare wild animals from home and abroad. In the Caging Area, you can see pandas, African elephants, Asian elephants, giraffes, chimpanzees, gibbons, lemurs, flamingos, and crested ibis in a short distance. The Safari Area gives animals more free space and tourists need to take a bus to visit it. Zebras, antelopes, wildebeests, rhinos, cheetahs, Siberian tigers, African lions, bears and wolves can be found here. 
Thames Town is a high-end villa area imitating the constructions of the Thames in the United Kingdom, seldom seen outside Thames, hence one of the distinctive and interesting places to visit in Shanghai. This is a large community that combines living, tourism and leisure. There is a church in the town and a lake in the east. You can also take a small train to tour around the town. Art exhibitions are usually held here, themed on sculpture, photography, paper cutting and calligraphy, etc.

Further Reading:
8 Fun Things to Do in Shanghai with Family
11 Most Romantic Places for a Honeymoon in Shanghai
Shanghai Amusement Parks: Top 5 Places to Go
List of 8 Theme Parks in Shanghai
- Last updated on May. 05, 2023 by Catherine He -
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